Saturday, March 26, 2011

Criminal World

I have heard it repeated in many differing political circles; you can't enter politics without a bit of life experience to guide you. Political life does not reward naïveté. And so old uni lecture chum Darren Hughes, an otherwise decent bloke, goes down.

I would feel slightly more compassion for Hughes if he hadn't released his whiny "innocent until proven guilty" resignation letter. Right at this moment, there's an otherwise decent bloke appearing on numerous charges relating to flowers in Auckland District Court. I have an otherwise decent blokess up on charges in Waitakere Court after police conducted an illegal search of her vehicle in the Auckland Domain.

Meantime in Rotorua, another otherwise decent bloke is facing charges after surrendering peacefully to police at Raggamuffin. Rotorua area commander Inspector Bruce Horne is on record saying:
"No arrests were made inside the venue, but 16 were made at the gates or immediate environs."
Yet here I am looking at charge sheet with Detective Mahara Alcock from Rotorua CIB's name on it that plainly sez in the Circumstances bit on the Caption Summary:
The defendant in this matter MCLEOD was seated on the grass banks opposite the grandstand at the concert.
Clearly, at least one cop is lying. But I digress. I'm not directly blaming Darren Hughes for these injustices. That would be unfair. Let's look at his voting record in parliament instead.

Labour voted with National in favour of the Criminal Proceeds Bill, which greatly expanded who the Crown could sue on balance of probabilities and claim any citizen's assets. Innocence until proven guilty does not apply. Neither does the the principle of double jeopardy, which encourages the Crown to try the same crime twice, once in criminal then in civil court.

Rob Hosking sums up another strike against Hughes:
So let’s get this straight: at a time of rising concern about binge drinking among our youth, Mr Hughes, a senior Labour MP with responsibility for the vital education portfolio, is out binge drinking with a bunch of 18 year olds.
The ruddy hypocrisy, the "I'm tired and emotional, you're a binge drinker" platitude that only comes from the ivory tower of power or academia. The increasingly red complexion of Hughes Minor foretold of one supernova or another. Hughes should be grateful it was just a stroke and not an aneurysm.

Lastly, there's the charge of drug snobbery. Hughes might like to be young and drunk, but he was no liberal in the medical marijuana vote. In fact, the whole list bears repeating:

  • The entire National Party, who bloc-voted against it
  • Jim Anderton (Progressive Coalition, Wigram)
  • Rick Barker (Labour, List)
  • Ashraf Choudhary (Labour, List)
  • Clayton Cosgrove (Labour, Waimakariri)
  • Clare Curran (Labour, Dunedin South)
  • Lianne Dalziel (Labour, Christchurch East)
  • Kelvin Davis (Labour, List)
  • Peter Dunne (United Future, Ohariu)
  • Te-Ururoa Flavell (Maori Party, Waiariki)
  • Phil Goff (Labour, Mt Roskill)
  • George Hawkins (Labour, Manurewa)
  • Parekura Horomia (Labour, Ikaroa-Rawhiti)
  • Darren Hughes (Labour, Otaki)
  • Raymond Huo (Labour, List)
  • Rahui Katene (Maori Party, Te Tai Tonga)
  • Luamanuvao Winnie Laban (Labour, Mana)
  • Nanaia Mahuta (Labour, Hauraki-Waikato)
  • Trevor Mallard (Labour, Hutt South)
  • Stuart Nash (Labour, List)
  • Damien O'Connor (Labour, List)
  • David Parker (Labour, List)
  • Mita Ririnui (Labour, List)
  • Ross Robertson (Labour, Manukau East)
  • Pita Sharples (Maori Party, Tamaki Makaurau)
  • Su'a William Sio (Labour, Mangere)
  • Tariana Turia (Maori Party, Te Tai Hauauru)
  • Jacinda Ardern (Labour, List)
  • Carol Beaumont (Labour, List)
  • John Boscawen (ACT, List)
  • Sue Bradford (Greens, List)
  • Brendon Burns (Labour, Christchurch Central)
  • Steve Chadwick (Labour, List)
  • Charles Chauvel (Labour, List)
  • David Cunliffe (Labour, New Lynn)
  • Catherine Delahunty (Greens, List)
  • Ruth Dyson (Labour, Port Hills)
  • Darien Fenton (Labour, List)
  • Jeanette Fitzsimons (Greens, List)
  • David Garrett (ACT, List)
  • Kenedy Graham (Greens, List)
  • Kevin Hague (Greens, List)
  • Hone Harawira (Maori Party, Te Tai Tokerau)
  • Rodney Hide (ACT, Epsom)
  • Chris Hipkins (Labour, Rimutaka)
  • Pete Hodgson (Labour, Dunedin North)
  • Sue Kedgley (Greens, List)
  • Annette King (Labour, Rongotai)
  • Iain Lees-Galloway (Labour, Palmerston North)
  • Keith Locke (Greens, List)
  • Sue Moroney (Labour, List)
  • Moana Mackey (Labour, List)
  • Russel Norman (Greens, List)
  • Lynne Pillay (Labour, List)
  • Rajen Prasad (Labour, List)
  • Grant Robertson (Labour, List)
  • Heather Roy (ACT, List)
  • Carmel Sepuloni (Labour, List)
  • Maryann Street (Labour, List)
  • Metiria Turei (Greens, List)
  • Phil Twyford (Labour, List)
In spite of these grudges, I have two pieces of advice for Darren Hughes. Firstly, good on Brendhan Lovegrove declaring himself two months dry on 7 Days. That takes balls. Secondly, marijuana has long been known as a cure for alcoholism. Less dangerous for all concerned. Harm minimisation, eh.